Historical Markers in
Washington County, Maine

A rich fishing tradition continues year-round Addison Birthplace of the U.S. Navy Building A Community / Tout à bâtir Burnham Tavern Calais 100th Anniversary of Incorporation Camp Lee - Stephenson Capt. Bucknam House Chiputneticook Chain of Lakes Civil War Memorial Civil War Memorial Civilian Conservation Corps Cobscook Bay Columbia Falls Town Hall Congregation Chaim Josef Cultural History Dawn's First Light Shines on Free Masonry Early Settlers of the Pleasant River Easternmost Point in the U.S.A. Eastport Civil War Memorial Eastport Fisherman Statue Exploring the Coast / Exploration de la côte First Meeting Place of Washington Lodge No. 37 F.&A.M. First Naval Battle of the American Revolution First Permanent English Settlement in Machias Bay Fort Machias/O'Brien Grange Granite Quarry Hannah Weston Memorial Hassey’s Riverside Park Imagining the Settlement / La colonie telle qu'on l'imagine Jonesboro Union Church Jonesboro War Memorial Jonesport War Memorial Lessons Learned / Leçons durement apprises Libby Hall Lubec Veterans Honor Roll Lumber Mill Precise Positioning and the 45th Parallel Princeton War Monument Rivers & Streams: Ancient Highways of the Wabanaki Saint Croix Island Sardine Industry Settling on Saint Croix Island / Colonisation de l'île Sainte-Croix Shipbuilding Strangers Offshore / Étrangers du grand large The Machias River The Roosevelts and Eastport The Ruggles House The "sleeping giant" view of Mount Katahdin Town of Weston Honor Roll Trapped For The Winter / Prisonniers de l'hiver Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial War Memorial Welcome to Million Dollar View Scenic Byway Welcome to Saint Croix Island International Historic Site / An Enduring Legacy Weston & Danforth's architecture When trees were used for tanning World War I Memorial World War II Roll of Honor World War Memorial
Maine has a unique lobstering tradition: Lobstering is a way of life in Maine, and it has been for generations. Lobstering was once considered a lowly profession, but now it is a highly respected and lucrative industry. Maine lobsters are renowned for their sweet flavor and are considered a delicacy around the world.
Washington County, located in the northeastern corner of Maine, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by various Indigenous tribes, including the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot peoples, who lived off the land and utilized the bay and rivers for fishing.

In the early 17th century, European explorers and settlers began arriving in the area. Dutch colonists were among the first Europeans to establish a presence, followed by the English who claimed the land for their expanding colonies. The English established trading posts and fishing villages, leading to increased European presence in the region.

During the American Revolution, Washington County played a significant role. The population was divided in its support, with some residents favoring independence while others remained loyal to the British Crown. The area's coastal location made it a hotbed for smuggling and privateering, as it provided easy access to the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean.

In the 19th century, Washington County experienced significant economic growth, particularly in the lumber and fishing industries. Sawmills and shipyards were established, taking advantage of the region's abundant forests and access to the sea. The coastal towns also became popular summer destinations for wealthy tourists, who were drawn to the picturesque coastlines and natural beauty of the area.

Today, Washington County continues to be known for its natural resources and picturesque landscapes. It remains a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for fishing, hiking, and kayaking. The county also has a strong sense of community pride and embraces its historical roots, with numerous museums, festivals, and events celebrating the region's unique history and culture.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Washington County, Maine.

  • 1789 - Washington County established as a county in the state of Maine
  • 1808 - Machias becomes the county seat of Washington County
  • 1838 - Washington County's population reaches 10,784
  • 1860s - Lumber industry booms in Washington County
  • 1889 - Washington County's population reaches its peak at 34,518
  • 1914 - Eastport becomes the easternmost port in the United States
  • 1940s - Decline in the lumber industry negatively affects Washington County's economy
  • 1961 - Quoddy Dam is completed, creating the West Quoddy Head State Park
  • 2002 - Washington County's population declines to 33,941
  • 2012 - 75% of the county's land is under forest cover